Vancouver and SFU Win Bid To Host Asia Pacific International Education 2020 Conference

Simon Fraser University has been selected as the lead host for Vancouver 2020, the Asia Pacific Association for International Education (APAIE) conference in Vancouver, Canada on March 23–26, 2020. 

This is one of many firsts. It will be the first time that the conference is held on the other side of the Pacific, the first time outside of Asia or Australia, and the first time in the Americas. This recognition offers great endorsement of Vancouver as an education hub and as Canada's Asia-Pacific gateway. 

It is anticipated that the conference will attract more than 2,000 participants and over 300 exhibitors from the Asia-Pacific, Europe and the Americas. The conference theme will focus on bridging the hemispheres, on creating more and stronger connections between the Asia Pacific and the Americas through academic collaboration and partnerships.

“SFU is excited to host the first APAIE conference on this side of the Pacific,” says SFU President Andrew Petter. “As a university committed to ‘engaging the world,’ we see this conference as a wonderful opportunity to build stronger relationships amongst universities and their communities in Asia, North America and beyond.” 

The British Columbia Council for International Education (BCCIE) will act as the conference’s local secretariat. B.C.’s education sector will be involved in planning and implementing the conference and the University of British Columbia, Royal Roads University, Thompson Rivers University, University of Northern British Columbia and University of Victoria will be local and regional co-hosts.

“The awarding of APAIE 2020 to Vancouver is strong recognition of the prominent and important role played in the Asia Pacific region by Canada, British Columbia and Vancouver,” suggests Randall Martin, Executive Director of BCCIE. “It is an acknowledgement of our emerging importance as a nexus of cultural, economic and academic collaboration between the Asia Pacific and the Americas, and recognizes our strong partnerships and innovations throughout the Asia Pacific and the Americas.”

The conference will open with a President's forum on the societal impact of international engagement in uncertain times, which will be focused around the UN Sustainable Development Goals. It will also explore issues that are globally pertinent in higher education including:

  • gateways to and from Asia
  • innovations in higher education
  • environmental and economic sustainability
  • multilateral and regional cooperation
  • Indigenous and diaspora communities.

As a legacy of this conference, SFU plans to develop a fund to provide scholarships to students from the Asia-Pacific region to study at the university.

The APAIE Vancouver 2020 bid was endorsed and supported by the federal and provincial governments, with strong engagement and support from Tourism Vancouver and BCCIE.  The bid presentation team was anchored by Canada’s High Commissioner to Singapore Ms Lynn McDonald and SFU President Andrew Petter.



The Asia-Pacific Association for International Education (APAIE) was established in Seoul, South Korea in 2004 by a Founding Committee consisting of thirteen university representatives from across the Asia Pacific region, and has since expanded to become a thriving association. APAIE aims to encourage greater cooperation between institutions, to enrich and support international programs, activities and exchanges, and to promote the value of international education across the region and beyond. In doing so, APAIE devotes itself to the principles of mutual respect, diversity and collective progress.


As Canada's engaged university, SFU is defined by its dynamic integration of innovative education, cutting-edge research and far-reaching community engagement. SFU was founded 50 years ago with a mission to be a different kind of university, to bring an interdisciplinary approach to learning, embrace bold initiatives, and engage with communities near and far. Today, SFU is Canada's leading comprehensive research university and is ranked one of the top universities in the world. With campuses in British Columbia's three largest cities, Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey, SFU has eight faculties, delivers almost 150 programs to over 35,000 students, and boasts more than 150,000 alumni in 130 countries around the world.


The British Columbia Council for International Education is a provincial Crown Corporation committed to supporting the internationalization efforts of the Province of British Columbia’s public and independent K-12, public and private post-secondary and language schools in internationalization, global engagement and partnerships and communications and capacity building. It promotes International Education and international engagement in and for the Province of British Columbia, promotes and enhances BC’s international reputation for education, and supports the International Education activities and priorities of the Government of British Columbia.